Barlow Family in Tasmania

William Barlow arrived in Tasmania from New Zealand early in 1853. He would have his second wife Hannah and children William (18), Margaret (16), Mary (14) and Elizabeth (12) travelling with him. I have been unable to find any documented proof of this as yet and need to do more research into shipping records both to and from New Zealand around that time. According to oral history passed down by descendant Charles Arthur Webb of Norfolk England, William had been working as a trader supplying equipment to the gold miners in Otago, southern NZ after leaving England.

Life in Hobart

The first substantiated evidence I have of the Barlow family being in Tasmania was the appearance of this notice in the Hobart Town Courier on 2-3 August 1853 reporting on the death of one Mrs Hannah Barlow:

"Suddenly on Monday 1st August 1853 at Battery Point, Mrs Hannah Barlow late Matron, St Marylebone Workhouse London. Aged 47 years She lived and died a Christian. Funeral to take place Thursday 3.00pm"

Hannah had died on the 1st August of a bowel complaint. The witness recorded on her death certificate was William Barlow, son of Battery Point.

These newspaper references

provide evidence of William being in Tasmania from Feb 1854 at least. Was he here in August 1853 when his wife Hannah died?

4 Feb 1854 Court appearance as a witness in a trial as reported in The Colonial Times Hobart
May 1854 Reported that Sgt William Barlow is living in Battery Point and has applied
to join the Artillery Corps.
15 Sep 1856 Court appearance Barlow v Tregar as reported by The Colonial Times Hobart.
2 Feb 1859 Court appearance Barlow v Tregar as reported by The Colonial Times Hobart.
4 June 1859 Court appearance Barlow v Hollinsdale as reported by The Hobart Town Mercury.
28 April 1860 Furniture and effects for sale NewTown as reported by The Hobart Town Mercury.
7 May 1860 Enquiry about renting dairy property..
Nov 1861 Occupier of a house at Beechend and 10 acres at Douglas River as
reported by Hobart Town Gazette..

Work as a School Master

I have been able to trace William in positions as Schoolmaster in Swansea (East Coast, Tas) 1862-1867, Longford (North Tas)1871 and Mona Vale (Central Tas) 1867-1871. His wife Mary Ann was employed as an assistant in the schoolroom with him.

His first appointment in Tasmania was as schoolmaster of the public school at Swansea, in the district of Glamorgan on the East Coast. This school was built and opened in 1860 and the first master was JC Maynard who later became Director of Education in NSW. Swansea SchoolWilliam became the second school master arriving in 1862 and remaining there untill 1867 when he moved to Mona Vale.

During his time at Swansea William was a busy man. He was Honorary Librarian of the town for a time as evidenced by a report in the papers.

Wed 30 March 1864    Mercury Newspaper

Glamorgan Public Library Report
The annual meeting of members of the above Institution, was held at the Reading Room,Swansea, on Saturday, 26th March inst, Rev. J. Mayson, President, in the chair.....
The following officers and members of last year's committee were then unanimously re-elected: Dr. Story, Hon. Secretary and Treasurer; Mr. William Barlow, Hon. Librarian ; Mr. James Amos, (Cranbrook), and Mr. Alfred T. Mayson, members of Executive Committee.

Fascination with the legal system

In 2008 the National Library of Australia began making available digitised copies of the nation's major newspapers. Searching by keyword, and in my case "William Barlow" produced an amazing array of articles in the Hobart Mercury and Courier, most of them concerning some aspect of the law!

You can skip off to the "legal page" where I have transcribed many of the cases if you would like to read more.

4 Feb 1854 Court appearance as a witness in a trial as reported in The Colonial Times Hobart
15 Sep 1856 Court appearance Barlow v Tregar as reported by The Colonial Times Hobart
24 Nov 1856 Boat stolen : A boat and two oars the property of Mr William Barlow were stolen from
Cornelian Bay on Friday night.
as reported by The Hobart Town Daily Mercury
6 May 1858 Brent & Westbrook are favoured with instructions from Mr William Barlow to sell
by auction at the Government Farm, NewTown on Tuesday 18th May at 12 o'clock
2 stacks of well made Oat and Barley hay and more.......
as reported by The Hobart Town Daily Mercury
2 Feb 1859 Court appearance Barlow v Reynolds as reported by The Hobart Town Daily Mercury
2 Feb 1859 Rural Police Rate: The Bench ordered a distress warrant to be issued to Mr William Barlow
farmer of NewTown for 17 pound 10 shillings, the amount
of his assessment under the Rural Police Act
as reported by The Courier
4 June 1859 Court appearance Barlow v Hollinsdale as reported by The Hobart Town Mercury
10 April 1860 Member of the jury for Watts V Crowther trial as reported by The Hobart Town Daily Mercury
Dec 1865 Court appearance Barlow v Graham as reported by The Hobart Mercury
12th Nov 1875 Court appearance Barlow v Moran as reported by The Hobart Mercury

Appearing in the Supreme Court

By far the biggest court case was in 1865 when William took his grievances to the Supreme Court. Over five days a trial took place and each day was reported in "The Mercury".

For the plaintiff Mr. Dobson, with him Mr. Adams.
For defendant, the Attorney-General (Graves attorney).
At the instance of the Attorney-General all witnesses were ordered to leave the Court till called for.

"Mr. Adams opened the pleadings. William Barlow was plaintiff and John Alexander Graham, defendant. The declaration stated that the plaintiff being the master of a public school at Swansea in Tasmania under the control and management of certain persons known as the Board of Education, the defendant falsely and maliciously wrote and published of the plaintiff as such schoolmaster the words following:

Notice. In consequence of having received numerous complaints of attempted overdues of Mr. Barlow for school fees (meaning thereby -charges wrongfully attempted to be made by the plaintiff as such master for school fees in excess of what he was entitled to charge in accordance with the rules of the said Board...."

I am transcribing all of the trial (five days) but to summarise, William as the plaintiff won his case and was awarded 100 pound damages.

Life on the East Coast

This transcription of a letter written in 1877 to his son William, shows a decline in health but that William still has a sound and organised mind. He talks of selling some of the farm stock to decrease the amount of work that needs attending to by his wife Mary Ann.

This newspaper advetisement helps to identify the land that William owned on the East Coast. Seymour is a district north of Bicheno on the East Coast.

Tue 29th Jan 1884 Mercury
Thursday 31st January
Valuable block of land adjoining township of Seymour. As instructed by Mr William Barlow, to sell, at their Mart, Murray St on Thursday 31st January at 12.00 Noon. A valuable block of land for sale containing 209 acres, 2r. or thereabouts, adjoining town of Seymour, comprising three grants of 40 acres 3 r., 81 acres 2 r. and 87 acres 1 r. to the late William Barlow and bounded by the town of Seymour, Doctors Creek and Crown Land. This block is adjacent to the 320 acres advertised in this paper. Terms 1/4 cash deposit with balance on completion.
Reference JT Morriss ESQ, Solicitor, Stone Buildings

Refer to the other 320 acres advertised - at Seymour known as JC Lloyds - situate in the Parish of Douglas, County of Glamorgan, bounded on the south by land purchased by P. Oldham, on the west, north and east by Crown Land and Bicheno St.

William's property called "The Hermitage" at Swansea

With a great deal of assistance from the Glamorgan Historical Society in Swansea I have been able to locate information about the property that William owned in Swansea called "The Hermitage". It is registered with the Australian Heritage Database Listing as follows:

"An interesting building comprising an early single storey rubblestone cottage with attics and a later Victorian two storey addition. The buildings, despite numerous additions, are of townscape value. Built in two parts - two storey northern part with hip roof, rubble walls (painted) corbelled brick chimney and remnants of twelve pane windows. Single storey (and attics) southern part has rubble walls gable roof and twelve pane windows. Verandah on east side and skillion-roofed stone section on south end. Many later additions and alterations."
Situated on the west side Tasman Highway, 200m north of intersection with Francis Street, Swansea.

In April 1864 a number of lots in Swansea were offered for sale and William Barlow bought five of these. The map found at the Glamorgan Historical Society show the five lots between Burgess St, Francis St, the now named Gordon St, and the New Road from Spring Bay. In effect William owned 48 acres - the only other lot bounded within these four streets was already owned by one Samuel Carpenter.

William paid a total of 116 pound for his five lots.
There is a photograph of The Hermitage from the Glamorgan Historical Society which was believed to have been taken around 1900. The Hermitage is now owned by a local small buswiness owner.

Valuation Roll for Glamorgan 23 May 1865 P926 Land - Occupier and owner of 38 acres at Swansea - annual value of the property 8 pound and Land -Occupier and owner of 208 acres near Doctors Creek Swansea - annual value of the property 10 pound
Valuation Roll for Glamorgan 15 Jun 1880 P639 Cottage and land at Swansea - owner and occupier William Barlow 48 acres - annual value of the property 20 pound
Valuation Roll for Glamorgan 17 July 1883 P1061 Cottage and land at Swansea - owner and occupier William Barlow 48 acres - annual value of the property 20 pound
Electoral Roll for Glamorgan April 1865 Barlow, William lives at Swansea - freeholder Land in the Parish of Douglass
Electoral Roll for Glamorgan April 1868 Barlow, William lives at Mona Vale- freeholder Land in the Parish of Douglass

Final Years

The final chapter of William's life was played out in Tasmania. William Barlow's graveWilliam died in Swansea in 1883 on the East Coast of Tasmania and is buried there beside the beautiful and windswept Great Oyster Bay. In 2000 a group of his descendants paid a visit to the cemetery as part of the family reunion tour.

William had made a will in 1877 and at a later date added 3 codicils to this in 1879 and 1882.
These documents highlight there was once a family bible and a gold watch, both of which he left to his only surviving son William. The will also lists his three daughters, two of whom were married and living overseas. Margaret Wiseman living in New Zealand with her husband James and 13 children and Eliza Geal, living in London with her husband William and 5 children. Mary was a spinster and lived in Hobart.

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